Friday, December 4, 2009

The Big Squishy, and The FU! (ice cream without the ice and hold the cream)

This time of year I'm always looking for desserts that are easily prepared, can be whipped up in a dash when unexpected guests come by and are low, low, low in calories. During the holiday season it's always easier and lot more fun to say "sure, why not?" with gusto rather than, "well, ok...just a bite" with overwhelming feelings of guilt.
Another thing I look for at this time of year is something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to trot out to the hungry hordes. It was many many years ago Grasshopper, that I discovered The Persimmon.
Persimmons are the national fruit of Japan cultivated widely in Asia and in the hilly parts of northern India. They are also all over the place this time of year here where I live in Sonoma, Northern California. They also go perfectly with a hot and spicy Indian meal providing a cool sweet finish.
For those of you who many be unfamiliar with them, there are two main types of persimmon the round flat tomato shaped Fuyu persimmon, and the heart shaped Hachiya, otherwise known in the romantic language of science as the astringent and the non astringent, or as they're known around our house, The Big Squishy and the FU. The one I'm dealing with today is The Big Squishy.

In order to enjoy the Big Squishy properly it has to be fully ripened, soft, yielding and bursting with sweet gooey deliciousness.Excuse me while I take a moment. There.
Best eaten with a spoon and a drop cloth, it is not for those who fear The Messy.
Right now the trees in Sonoma county are heavy with both types of persimmon and one can get three persimmons for 99 cents or cheaper at the farmers markets, or from neighbors selling them from their yards. So why not take advantage? Why not make Big Squishy Ice Cream?
But, you may say. I have no Ice Cream Machine? Doesn't one need an Ice Cream Machine to make ice cream??? Not Big Squishy Ice Cream.

First of all, find yourself a nice big squishy persimmon , a Hachiya to be precise. When the persimmon is frozen solid, (usually after a day or so in the freezer) take it out and peel it with a vegetable peeler. Watch your thumbs, cause these babies are cold!

After the persimmons are peeled, chunk them up into pieces.

When the persimmons have been chunked, place them into a food processor or blender with about 1/4 cup of buttermilk. You might also try cream, creme fraiche, yogurt, soy milk, coconut milk etc. Anything for that creamy blend. I have to tell you here that I never add sugar to this. Very ripe persimmons are extremely sweet, but judge for yourself if you feel the persimmon ice cream is too tart or astringent add away, but be light about it.
Turn your processor on and give it a few buzzes till it's nice and creamy but still semi other cream!

You can serve it immediately in which case it is full of dreamy creamy persimmony wonderfulness.

Or, you can chill it and eat it later for a firmer consistency.

There you go, fast, cheap and easy! Everyone will think you are some kind of genius since you manged to pull this off so quickly. Figure on 1 persimmon per helping. I've even been known to whizz this one up after a working lunch and eat it right out of the bowl. I do however take the whirling blade out first. Stay classy Kathy!


  1. wow these are so pretty! looks delish!

  2. @pegasuslegend
    yep, it's really good and sooooooo easy.

  3. Very cool idea - I would have thought I needed an ice cream maker, but you schooled me. Thanks!

  4. Anything made with something nicknamed "the big squishy" has my vote. Great way to use persimmons, a fruit I still have not fully embraced (but I'm open to trying to love.

  5. I recently brought persimmons into my kitchen for the first time. I made a cake and layered it with apricot mousse. I think I'll try to make a frozen persimmon mousse next time and when I do< I'll think of the wonderful colors on your web site.

  6. I've never even TOUCHED a persimmon before. Thanks for the inspiration. (BTW, a preposterous injury has kept me out of commission for a while ---even typing hurt! Check my blog for an update. I have a LOT of catching up to do.)

    Kelly at Crock Tease

  7. I love all kinds of creamy desserts and especially enjoy making them with unique flavors. This looks like a hit - and especially because it's a low calorie, healthy treat when there are so many fatty foods right now.

  8. so cool! that is so much better than loading up with excess sugar and fillers. i grew up with persimmons since my Grandfather had a few trees, and they are delicious!

  9. OHH! Very clever. Must try this when it is in season.

  10. Great to see an ice cream that can be done without the machine.
    I always thought persimmons are tart and sour, so I stayed I won't:)

  11. I don't think I've ever had a persimmon which means I definitely have to get some and then give this a try :)

  12. I've seen this done with bananas and while I was impressed, I didn't think to try it as the 'nana and I don't get along very well.

    Persimmon on the other hand...

  13. Squish-a-licious!

    Yeah, I have also done this with bananas, but the colour on your version is amazing. Will have to get some persimmons.

    I like to freeze whole oranges (unpeeled) in Summer too, to take to the beach. They deforst slowly and taste like ice-lollies!

  14. Great to see an ice cream that can be done without the machine.Swine Flu
    I always thought persimmons are tart and sour, so I stayed I won't:)



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